Syria opposition activist, daughter found dead in Istanbul: report

Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Turkey has become home to almost three million Syrian refugees, many of them opponents of the Assad regime. (AFP)
Updated 22 September 2017
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Syria opposition activist, daughter found dead in Istanbul: report

ISTANBUL: A senior Syrian opposition activist and her journalist daughter have been found dead at their apartment in Istanbul, the Dogan news agency reported on Friday.
Friends raised the alarm after being unable to reach Aroubeh Barakat and her daughter Halla Barakat by telephone, the news agency said.
Turkish police then arrived at their apartment in the Uskudar district on the Asian side of Istanbul and found both women dead. Unconfirmed reports said that their throats had been cut.
Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Turkey has become home to almost three million Syrian refugees, many of them opponents of the regime of President Bashar Assad.
Aroubeh Barakat’s sister Shaza also confirmed the deaths in a Facebook post, saying the two “were assassinated at the hands of injustice and tyranny.” She said that they had been stabbed to death.
She said her sister had opposed the Assad regime from the 1980s going back to the rule of Bashar Assad’s father Hafez.
The Yeni Safak daily said Aroubeh Barakat had carried out investigations into alleged torture in prisons run by the Assad regime.
It said she had initially lived in Britain, then the United Arab Emirates before coming to Istanbul.
Syrian activist Rami Jarrah wrote on Facebook that the family believes the killing could be due to Aroubeh’s opposition activities.
Halla Barakat, 22, was working for a website called Orient News and had also for a time worked for Turkish state broadcaster TRT.
Syrian opposition activists and journalists have repeatedly complained of threats to their security.
Two Syrian journalists from the city of Raqqa who were opposed to the Daesh extremist group and were found beheaded in southern Turkey in 2015.


Morocco navy fires on migrant boat, one dead: local officials

Updated 22 min 31 sec ago
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Morocco navy fires on migrant boat, one dead: local officials

  • The patrol was “forced” to open fire on a speedboat driven by a Spaniard who “refused to obey” orders
  • Four migrants were wounded, including a Moroccan woman who died of her injuries in hospital

RABAT: Morocco’s navy on Tuesday fired on a boat carrying migrants which refused to respond to its orders, leaving a Moroccan woman dead and three other people wounded, local officials said.
The patrol was “forced” to open fire on a speedboat driven by a Spaniard who “refused to obey” orders in waters off the Moroccan locality of M’diq-Fnideq, the authorities said in a statement.
Four migrants were wounded, including a Moroccan woman who died of her injuries in hospital, a local official told AFP.
Those on board the powerboat were lying down and could not be seen, the official said.
The Spanish driver was unharmed and later arrested, according to the same source, adding an investigation had been opened.
Morocco — a key route for sub-Saharan Africans trying to reach Europe via Spain — said this month it has foiled 54,000 bids so far in 2018 by illegal migrants to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.
The figures included 7,100 Moroccans for the period until the end of August, according to figures released last week by the Moroccan government spokesman.
Since early 2018, Spain has recorded more than 38,000 arrivals by sea and land, according to the International Organization for Migration.
Since the beginning of September, social media networks in Morocco have been inundated with videos showing young people from the North African country heading to Spain aboard inflatable boats.